- Better Living
2 Super-Tasty Italian Condiments You Can Make At Home Without Breaking Into A Sweat
These gourmet recipes can elevate your dish by several notches
Oven-roasted Cherry Tomatoes
These homemade oven-roasted cherry tomatoes are as rich in flavour as the store-bought sun-dried tomatoes, sans the oil and preservatives.
Traditionally, sun-dried tomatoes are made by treating tomatoes with salt, then leaving them out to dry in the sun for days till they become dehydrated. They are then packed in air-tight bags or in bottles with olive oil and sold in the markets.
But if you love the juicy store-bought variety and are struggling to find it, then worry not! This recipe has you covered. These little tart-sweet red gems are packed with antioxidants and make for a great gourmet addition to salads, pastas, sandwiches and so on.
Cherry tomatoes 500 grams
Olive oil 2 tablespoons
Salt 2 tablespoons
Honey 2 tablespoons
Italian seasoning or mixed dried herbs 2 tablespoon
Pre-heat the oven at 110 degrees Celsius. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, salt, honey and mixed herbs to make a smooth dressing. Cut the cherry tomatoes into half. Add these tomatoes to the dressing and mix them well.
Line the oven tray with a baking sheet or aluminium foil. Place the tomatoes cut-side up on the baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, then press them with a spatula so that some of the juices drain out, then bake for another hour till the tomatoes are completely dry (may take less or more time depending on the oven).
Take them out of the oven. Once cool, store them in an air-tight jar. You can keep it in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.
Homemade Basil-walnut Pesto
One of the most popular Italian sauces, pesto is much sought after by lovers of Italian cuisine. It’s nutty, it’s herby and it’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins, heart-friendly fats and more. Not only does it make for a great base sauce for pasta, ravioli, gnocchi and spaghetti, the versatile pesto can be a healthy dip, sandwich spread and a creamy salad dressing as well. Make it at home in advance and turn your meal into a restaurant-style affair in minutes.
Basil leaves 4 cups
Garlic 4 cloves
Peeled Walnuts (preferably lightly toasted) ½ cup
Grated parmesan ½ cup
Lemon juice 1 ½ tablespoon
Red chilli flakes 1 teaspoon
Virgin or extra virgin olive oil ½ cup
Salt 1 teaspoon or as per taste
Pepper 1 teaspoon or as per taste
In a mixer-grinder or food processor, add the basil, walnuts, garlic, parmesan, lemon juice and chilli flakes and pulse a few times till the basil breaks down. Slowly add the olive oil bit by bit, whizzing every time, so that it becomes a smooth creamy paste. Add salt and pepper and pulse once more. Check and adjust seasoning. Store it in an air-tight jar. It lasts for up to a week in the refrigerator.